An early Koflach mountaineering boot
An early Koflach mountaineering boot (Tim Tomkinson)

Double Plastic Mountaineering Boot

An early Koflach mountaineering boot

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

A highly reliable style of footwear that prevents frostbite in alpine environments. Early mountaineering boots were crafted from hobnailed leather, which freezes. The solution was to use a plastic shell fitted with an easily removable synthetic liner that can be taken into your sleeping bag at night and kept warm. The first double boot to reach the U.S. was the Koflach Ultra, in the 1980s. These days, double boots are frequently paired with lithium-powered heaters to keep a climber’s feet toasty in temperatures down to 60 below.

From Outside Magazine, August 2015
Filed to:
Lead Photo: Tim Tomkinson